Nanowrimo-DAY TWO-KNOTS, DISTRACTIONS AND CARROTS

So, on day two I went a little over the suggested 1,667 words, but I’m still slightly behind. That’s ok, I can get back on track if I go slightly beyond that goal today.

It shouldn’t be too hard to do since it seems that I’m going to have a nice block of uninterrupted time with everyone at school or work. I’m hoping to get slightly ahead because the weekends tend to be my least productive time, but that’s another post entirely.

I think I know why writers drink. This first week I’m fighting major anxiety attacks whenever I try to write. Knots in the stomach. I’m trying not to stress eat all the leftover Halloween candy in one go. So I write in short bursts, try to hit a number or set a time limit. Then I back away from the computer and pace a little or read for 10 minutes or do something else and then come back to it. I’ve learned I have to do this or I just delete everything and don’t get anywhere. I don’t know exactly where it comes from. I don’t think it’s because I’m trying to write for one specific person on this one. I always try to do that, I work better that way. However, I know this too shall pass once I reach the end of week one.

And so I keep writing one word at a time. Also, I feel lucky that I feel no temptation to turn on the TV today until I have finished my daily word count. I am sick of anything Kardashian, I’ve never understood the appeal of reality TV, and am equally turned off by Herman Cain’s mess. At least the Rick Perry video is amusing.

Lots of things to reward myself with as well once I have hit the mark. DVR episodes of Psych(Love that Guster) and American Horror Story. That is one I have to watch in the daytime. It still baffles me that the team that created Glee came up with something this complex. Go figure. Also found Out of Oz at the library(they hate it when I squeal like that) and Terry Pratchett’s latest Discworld-Snuff. They both have to be back by the 16th. Oh hooray, another deadline.

Too Good to Be True:
Stats: 1,882 words
Goal: 1,719 words today

Well time to stop avoiding and take the plunge.

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Fringe Thursday-Mrs. Bishop Tells Peter a Bedtime Story

I was intrigued by the fact that Walter told Ella in “Brown Betty” that he never told Peter bedtime stories, that he was too busy. We know he was working on a cure night and day until his son died. I wonder if he found it too painful to be around the Peter we know as a child because he knew what he had done?

My favorite line from the episode:”My mother doesn’t love Peter.” Go Ella-I love that kid.

So here is a story I think Mrs. Bishop might have told Peter one night when he had trouble going to sleep. Disclaimer:None of Fringe is mine.

Mrs. Bishop Tells a Story

“Once upon a time,” Elizabeth Bishop began.
“This isn’t going to be about a girlis it?”
“No, Peter.”
“All those Princess things start that way.”
“This story is about a Prince. Now do you want to hear the story or don’t you?”
“Sure Mom, go ahead.”
“Thank you.

Now, once upon a time there was a beautiful Queen who wanted nothing more than to have a child to love. Her husband was a powerful wizard and so one evening he gave her a special potion to drink. Nine months later, the Queen had a beautiful baby boy.”

“That’s not how you get a baby. Carla told me.”
“She did, did she? Well this is a story and it was magic.”

“Now also in this kingdom there was an evil witch who also wanted a child, but the wizard refused to give her the potion because he knew that even though she was beautiful and seemed kind and generous she was truly an evil woman. He warned the Queen never to leave the Prince alone with the Witch, but the Queen soon forgot the warning because she and the Witch became such good friends.

One day the Queen was terribly busy and she left the Prince alone in the garden with the Witch. The Witch was always very kind to the Prince and she loved him in her own wicked way. She gave him a box of toffee and told him not to tell anyone.”

“What’s toffee?” Peter asked.
“Candy.”
“You never let me have candy.”
“It’s bad for you and-”
“It will rot my teeth,” Peter said in a resigned tone.

“The Queen did not allow the Prince to have candy either and so the Prince hid it. Late at night when everyone was asleep the Prince ate the candy. The toffee was enchanted and it made him very sick. The Queen was very frightened that the Prince would die. Nothing that the Wizard did worked because the Prince had been made from the Queen’s love and his magic.

One night he was desperate and he made a magic mirror. In the mirror he saw a kingdom that was just like the one his Queen ruled. It also had a wizard and a Prince. The wizard used his most powerful magic and traveled there. The prince in the Mirror Kingdom was sick as well. The wizard was sure that his magic could cure this boy and that he could bring his own Prince to the Mirror Kingdom and their wizard would cure his Prince.

Alas the wizard was too late and when he returned with the other boy, the Prince had died. He knew he could still save one Prince. However once he was well, the Queen begged him not to return the Mirror Prince but let her raise him as if he was their child. He agreed, because he loved her. ”

Mrs. Bishop was relieved to see that Peter had fallen asleep. She had just reached the doorway when Peter spoke.
“What happened to the other Queen?” Peter asked, his voice coming out of the darkness.
“What do you mean?”
“The one the wizard stole the little boy from. She never got him back. She loved her Prince just as much as the other Queen right?”
“It’s just a story Peter,”
“Maybe the other Queen died of a broken heart or maybe she became an evil witch. If she knew what happened, maybe there was a war.”
“Go to sleep Peter.”
“It’s not right. Not fair. Something bad should happen to the Queen who kept him. Will you tell me the rest tomorrow?”
“Not if you don’t go to sleep, right now.”
“Okay, night Mom.”
Mrs. Bishop stood in the doorway of Peter’s room and watched him sleep until she heard the front door open and close. Then she went to talk to her husband.

Teaser Tuesday-Poisoner’s Handbook & American Gods

My family is full of mystery readers. My mom and my stepdad read every Travis McGee, Sue Grafton, James Pattersonthat there is.

Needless to say, I became a mystery fan as well. That’s why I was so pleased to find, The Poisoner’s Handbook by Deborah Blum. Sometimes it’s fun to read about the history of things like forensic medicine and Ms. Blum certainly makes it so. You can read excerpts and other fun things, here or here and yes, even here.

If you enjoy the history of the Jazz Age, New York, CSI or Law and Order this is definitely a book that you should consider picking up.

Also, if that isn’t enough to keep you busy, the new experiment, One Book, One Twitter. The Book that’s been chosen is Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.

You can find out more about my favorite author, here or about the project

A Post That Comes From Rejection and Too Much Coke Zero

All writers deal with rejection. Anyone who engages in any kind of artistic endeavor knows from the start that it is part of how it all works. We are told time and time again, especially by those who have seemed to have conquered it, that it doesn’t mean the work is bad, that it is part of the process that will lead to being a published author. The thing that they say most often is that you must just continue to write. I don’t argue with that advice, in fact it is what I try to follow. One of the hardest things to do after a piece has been sent out to what one hopes is its destination is to stop thinking about it and move onto the next thing.

If I am honest with myself I have been a writer or at least a person who has loved words all my life. They have allowed me freedom beyond my physical limitations. I think it is part of the reason that they mean so much to me. I don’t think my physical disability which I haven’t talked about here before, is the thing that defines me. It’s certainly not the first thing I think about in the morning, some days I don’t even think of it at all. Still I know that when I am out in the world, that it is the only thing that other people see. Not always and sometimes it is overcome by conversation or over time. The reaction to the chair is most telling, especially when people try to hide it. So it is an easy thing to blame failure on. Other people’s prejudice, other people’s fear. It is the easy excuse. To tell yourself that it was not that you didn’t measure up or meet the expectations of others. The internet takes that easiest of excuses away. On the internet you are not judged my looks, but by the content produced and only that.

It is a scary thing to face and I think it kept me frozen, blocked from reaching for the things I wanted for far too long. So yesterday I got a rejection letter for a piece I sent out. Only my second since I started putting things out in the world to be published last July. I’ve been spoiled by positive reactions and overjoyed at acceptances I never thought I would get. So this one was hard. It was a publication I really wanted. The first time I tried a money market. I told myself it was no big deal. Just do what they tell you and keep writing. I thought I was doing ok with it. I really did. The fact that I agonized over my weekly Fringe post was no big deal. That had nothing to do with it. Then Edgar, the cat, broke one of the hinges on my writing desk and that brought me to tears. That’s when I knew I wasn’t ok.

Writing is a lonely business and never more than when someone says no thanks. I wonder if the really big published authors have days when they want to pull the blanket over their heads or quit and say I’m just wasting my time or fooling myself into thinking I’m a better writer than I actually am?

So how did I get over it? I’m not sure that I have. But I do know some things that helped. The fact that I have two notebooks full of things I want to write and had another idea today that sprang from a sentence on damomma.com. Also two talks from Ted Talks: the first by JK Rowling, http://www.ted.com/talks/jk_rowling_the_fringe_benefits_of_failure.html
and the second from Elizabeth Gilbert,

I hope that the links work. I am hoping to get a big tutorial on how all the bells and whistles on this thing works and be able to tweak this thing so that it works the way it should and improve the experience you have when you come here.

The other thing that I did was write. I suppose it is why I continue to write, because with the exception of being with the people who are closest to me, it is the thing that gives me the most joy is to tell a story. I can also say that something else has happened now with what I write. I want these things to be out in the world, to be read by other people. It’s truly about that, the sharing. Now because we live in a world where you have to pay for food and college tuition for you daughter I need to be paid at some point.

So I’m not going to quit. I can’t or I will be impossible to live with. And I can be impossible to live with. No one what to live with that, especially me.

So keep coming back and I’ll keep being honest about how this works for me and what my results are.

Thanks for reading. I promise a much more fun post on Friday, or since it is Friday at this point, later today.

Monday, Monday, Monday

Mondays mean that we all have to get up way too early. Finding out you don’t have jelly at 6 a.m. means school lunches or peanut butter only sandwiches. Slime mother strikes again.
It also means the return of a quiet house with only the sound of the fish tank to disturb my concentration. I love having everyone home, but it makes writing almost impossible. The two a.m. thing doesn’t even work because someone always seems to get up and want a heart to heart.

So today begins the year for this working writer who bought herself A Working Writer’s Daily Planner for 2010 from Small Beer Press. It stares at me every day from my desktop, nagging me to stop reading People Magazine and get to work.
It is also a lovely way to keep track of writer’s birthdays and other important things. I think everyone who loves books, not just those who try to write them should pick up a copy.

So Happy Birthday Doris Kearns Goodwin. She writes really engaging not at all stuffy histories of people such as FDR and Eleanor, The Kennedys and her most recent I think, A Team of Rivals about Lincoln’s cabinet which got a lot of airtime during the last Presidential campaign. She is a contributor over at MSNBC as well because she is considered to be quite the Presidential Historian. She seems a lovely lady and always a fascinating read.

Well, I’m off now to see how much I can get done on this first work day of the new year.
See you tomorrow.

Backward and Forward

Personally, I think my year was like everyone else’s. A lot of stress and worry, mostly over things I couldn’t control. I haven’t felt so stressed out since my parents divorced in my freshman year of high school. Bad dreams, insomnia, jumping every time the phone rang.

Still I can say from a writing standpoint it was the best year ever. I published for the first time. Earning a spot in an e-zine with a serial flash fiction novella I wrote three days a week, mostly at 2 a.m. because it was the only time the house was quiet enough for me to think.
I submitted 5 pieces this past year and 3 were accepted. Pretty good I think.

In 2009 I started this blog, a facebook page, a S6 page and a twitter account.

In 2009 I left PC’s behind and got a mac mini. Not a crash or virus yet.

My personal Santa aka the man I married, was very good to me this year. Not only did I receive the mac when I needed it I also got an agenda stand from levenger’slittle writing desk
which I am using as a small writing desk. It fits perfectly on my lap. Now I can write away from the computer and all the distractions of the internet.

It was a great year for books. I discovered Gail Carringer and her first novel, Souless. I can’t wait to read her second in 2010
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest and the The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt were wonderful Christmas presents.

In addition to discovering Ms. Carringer and Priest, I also discovered their entertaining blogs along with Gypsy Thorton and her Once Upon a Blog and Ellie with her blog One Crafty Mother.

Also while other family members were losing their pets. R.I.P. Daisy and Pudgy we added to ours. Edgar Allan Poe came home on Mother’s Day and he is now a much loved member of the family.

This year my favorite soap couple walked away from their show, so I have gained an hour of writing time. Bobby Bowden coached his last game as FSU’s head coach. My daugher gets ready to graduate from high school and my son begins the long trek through middle school.

So what do I want to accomplish this year:

A cleaner house, whatever that means
More blog entries and more consistently
Finish my Steampunk romance and submit by deadline in April
Finish Bound
Revise finished works and throw them to the wind
Write, Write Write

I hope you all have a wonderful New Year and Don’t forget to eat your Blackeyed Peas!
Every pea brings you one day of good luck in the New Year, wouldn’t it be nice if you could trade that for published work?

a bowl full of luck

Nanowrimo-Day Three-We Have a Title!

Day 3 of Nanowrimo. I am still far behind the suggested word count of the day. By the end of the day I should have written 4,998 words. How many have been written, you ask? 1, 412. Still, I think that is not bad considering I spent most of day 1 on a project that I ended up scrapping, but still kept everything because it still might work someday,

So I am not discouraged. I persevere. I found a great quote for all of us slogging through these first days of the 50,000 word quest and it is from a man who I have no doubt could kick some serious Nanowrimo butt if he was so inclined. Thanks to Gail Carringer from whose site I stole it.

“Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you are doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing to shovel shit from a sitting position”-Stephen King.

Congrads to Gail Carringer for Soulless being named one of the Best Books of the year by PW. I must say I agree.
And Congrads to Cherie Priest for the same honor for Boneshaker. Can’t wait to read that one.
If you haven’t read the work of these fine authors, get thee to a bookstore. It will not be a wasted trip.
Back to slogging away, I’ve got some shoveling to do.

Oh yes, and that title in case you were wondering-“Speaking to the Dead”- A Matilda and Lord Whitcomb Paranormal Steampunk Mystery.